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Saturday afternoons are becoming my creative outlet time, and today was no exception.  After returning from an afternoon Christmas program rehearsal, I told the family I needed one hour to release a little stream of creative juice I’d been suppressing since early in the week. I even promised to start dinner by 5:30pm if I could only. have. one. hour.At 4:25 I gathered my supplies, kneeled on my bedroom floor with iphone inspiration pictures handy, and went to town chalking up my newly painted chalkboard frame.By 5:17 she was hanging on the wall.  How’s that for efficiency?Oh my goodness how much fun this was!I was inspired by the chalk art of Dana Tanamachi whom I discovered through a blog several months ago.  Just this week I returned to her website after finishing the making of this chalkboard, knowing I wanted to do something special with it.I pondered for several days what to do,…

Well, I missed day 9 and 10 of my 31-day posting challenge…but that’s okay.  Life goes on around here, and most often it’s the very joys of this life which keep me from my computer.  Which is perfectly fine by me ~ The line about life reminds me of one of many favorite Steel Magnolia quotes:  Life marches on, and before you know it, it’s marching right across your face.  Oh, gotta love that one 😉 Our church began Christmas Program rehearsals this last week which take up time, but with the whole family involved it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make ~ such a meaningful opportunity to minister to others the true meaning of Christmas, and also experience the goings-on of a production…always nerve-wracking, invigorating, and rewarding.  Mr. Wonderful’s teaching in Kenai this week and we miss him dearly, but he’s been able to touch base with several old friends from…

My goodness, I feel like I climbed Mt. McKinley today.Or am I supposed to call it Denali now?  See, I live in Alaska and still struggle with this.Either way, I’ve certainly accomplished great things in the span of one afternoon: Amaya and I cleaned her room.As mom to a darling little seven-year-old girl, I’m learning a few things.  Allow me to share.Lesson #1Never, ever-ever (forgive me: I’ve been singing the new Taylor Swift song for two days now), never let your 7-yr-old’s room go more than seven days without a full inspection of every party bag (2 liters of candy wrappers), suitcase (damp, moldy? jeans from sleepover two weeks ago), floral box (ah-hah! there’s the necklace that’s been missing since June!) and desk drawer (hmmmm, are those mommy’s five rolls of Scotch tape?).  On the upside, we had a delightful afternoon of discovery.Lesson #2 Seven-year-olds have a very different idea of…

  It’s amazing what a whispered prayer can do ~ I sat down today to post pictures of my Burlap Bulletin board project and all my pictures uploaded, no server error at all.  I’m thankful because I really wanted to show how simple this is. First, I started with a cheapy storebought bulletin board with absolutely no personality at all.  Why, oh why is it so hard to find creative, unique, functional things like this without ordering from an expensive catalog? Anyway, I digress… I laid the bulletin board down over batting and, like I said yesterday, if I were to do this again, I’d use only one layer of batting instead of two.  For some reason I kept seeing “puffy” in my mind; the finished board does not need that much batting.  One of my concerns, though, was that I wanted to cover the black edging well, both the color and the hardness, which…

I worked on this little burlap bulletin board project for our school room Saturday afternoon.  So many times when I conquer ideas like this, I basically achieve the look, yet inevitably end up sacrificing function.  Can you relate?You have this great idea, then you love how it turns out, but you realize it’s not really working as well as you’d hoped.  But do you discard it?  No way!  You’re going to KEEP it and USE it because, by golly, you MADE the thing!And it does look good, after all.  Well, as this project came together, I think I may have achieved both look and function.  Yay!The downside is that for some reason my server is rejecting the other pictures I took to show the steps.  I have no idea why this is happening. At least you can see the final product.I’ve always loved these Ballard Designs boards, which were my inspiration. …

This blog was conceived from my love of furniture refinishing, decorating, and all things design.Oh, don’t misunderstand me.  I still love those things…!  I can get downright giddy were you to come over this afternoon and talk furniture over a latte with me.  Matter of fact, whatcha doin’ around 3pm?But seriously, as much as I love design, we all know life is more than just pretty stuff, especially when you’re a wife, mom, sister, daughter, homeschooling parent, etc. etc.  In a previous post I talked about my desire this fall to focus on a few things in my role as mom, ie primary cooker/baker/menu planner/prep cook.  One was making my own bread, the other was trying new recipes.I’m happy to report that my first week of homeschool was a success in both areas.  Yes, we accomplished a heap of school work, too, but that’s for another day. Not only did I grind my own wheat for the first time…

Yesterday I posted about a planning system I use over and over to help organize my whirling mind and systematically schedule out my to-do’s in order to get things done.  I pointed out that getting things done wasn’t the best part of my plan (I claimed that having a plan was the most beneficial perk of all), but I must confess the “getting things done” is a pretty huge perk, too.  Today I’ll show you a few things I’ve completely (and I mean, completely) finished the last couple days as a result of scheduling them in my Notebook.First, a few shots of something pretty for my daughter’s room:In case you can’t tell from these pictures, it’s a chair I finally finished for Amaya after starting and stopping oh, seventeen or so times over the last year.  I received this from a friend of ours, and it came looking like this (okay, I confess…

What a blessed summer.Lots of BBQing, s’mores, volleyball with family, planting new grass, cutting trees, sitting around the campfire, boating.  A blessed summer.I’ve been squeezing in some projects here and there and thought I’d show you a few in progress.  As you know, we finished the surround on our sitting room fireplace in March, and I painted the bookshelves around that same time.  In April, I found a light fixture on craigslist for $40 and, although a tacky brass, I knew it could be stunning with a little time and Krylon’s Oil-Rubbed Bronze.In case you’re wondering how on earth I found the patience to tape off each and every glass section on this fixture, I will confess it was a 2-3 day ordeal.  My precious 12-year-old son agreed to cut newspaper pieces to fit each area using a template I made.  Then, as I was (literally) waiting for paint to…

It is late afternoon and I have no energy left.  Lots of birthday partying, tackling home projects, entertaining, and late nighting have done me in over spring break this week.  So I’m sitting here in my “sitting” room, gazing at my new fireplace surround and mantle, sipping a delicious latte, and trying to convince myself it’s okay if I do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day.But of course, there is that mantle to think about.Although I’ve hardly had a minute to style it yet, I wanted to show you our finished product.  The light is not great due to that aforementioned late afternoon sun, but you can still appreciate what a vast improvement we have made in this room.This is what the surround looked like when I first picked it up at a local thrift store.  Mr. Wonderful designed a couple boxes to support the surround as it…

I started today with such high hopes.  So many tasks I needed to do, so many projects I wanted to do, and an entire day before me.I hardly knew where to start.  However, with piles of family laundry strewn throughout the house, starting here was a no-brainer:After washing and drying a couple loads, I retrieved the mail on the way back from the kids’ make-up piano lesson.  After a quick lunch, our dining room table then looked like this:Of course, while the kids were at piano, I managed to stain a few more of my sitting room shelves and call my sister-in-law to say hi.  The other end of the dining room table then looked like this:Meanwhile, with everyone home today, our kitchen has become Grand Central Station.  You all know what that means.  A floor that looks like this:Around 1:30, I was so tired and unmotivated I placed a “Please…